The Tale of Lights

©2013 all rights reserved CEStankiewicz

I’m a single mom raising two teenage daughters and working outside the home. Which means that stuff around my house doesn’t always get done in a — shall we say — timely fashion.

Oh, I’m also a world-class procrastinator.

But sometimes that can be a good thing…


Oh how my lovely Christmas lights
lit up our house last year:
a sparkling sight on wintry nights
for neighbors far and near.

I loved ‘em so, I left them up
all through January.
When Valentine’s Day rolled around,
they kept our hearts so merry.

March blew in, then April came,
and still they twinkled on
as robins pecked and pulled at worms
upon our greening lawn.

In May and June and then July
the days grew long and hot.
The nights were short and filled with stars,
but still, I thought, “Why not?”

And so those lights that I had strung
to welcome last year’s Yule
stayed up throughout the summertime,
till kids went back to school.

In fall, when leaves of orange and gold
lay gathered on the ground,
the lights hung high — it seemed that I
might never take them down.

As we gave thanks for family, friends
and food for us to sup,
I realized a year had passed
since I’d first hung them up.

Three hundred sixty-some odd days
those bulbs had stayed entwined
around the pillars of my porch,
but I? I didn’t mind.

The Christmas spirit, some might say,
had led me to the act
of leaving lights to shine all year —
but really, here’s the fact:

It’s quite a wondrous testament
(notes one who now believes)
to all the beaming brilliance
that laziness achieves.

©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


Suburban Haiku: Thanksgiving (a guest post)

©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved

(Today’s post, like last week’s, was prompted by my recent Japan trip. I asked Peyton Price, the genius behind Suburban Haiku, to share some of her witty work in the familiar Japanese poetic form.  She graciously obliged, using the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as her theme. I’m very thankful.)

I love haiku—little poems with seventeen syllables in three lines: five syllables, seven, then five.

The simplicity of haiku leaves space for readers to fill in personal details, seeing their own lives in the space between those three lines. I’m writing about my neighborhood, but you’ll want to know whether I’m spying on yours. (Answer: No comment.)

And it’s so satisfying, really, to boil life’s absurdities down to seventeen syllables. Being a mom is so complicated, and somehow so mind-numbingly boring. The holidays are a perfect example. Are you feeling the pressure yet? Wouldn’t you rather laugh than cry? A tiny haiku can be sweet revenge . . . or just sweet.


Preschool Thanksgiving:
Moms and dads in tiny chairs
ask “Did you make this?”

The teens volunteer
at the neighborhood food bank
for their rèsumès.

My kids cannot wait
to wake up on Thanksgiving
and see all the ads.

Thanksgiving parade:
A Pilgrim in white stockings
and white Adidas.

Once our guests arrive
I start out with a simmer.
Then I stir things up.

Every November
he sits there stuffing his face
with all our birdseed.

Weekend visitors
finally head off to bed.
Even the cat purrs.


Peyton Price lives in suburbia (of course) with her long-commuting husband (of course) and two above-average children (of course). You can find Suburban Haiku on twitter, facebook, the blog, and Amazon (of course).


The Well-Versed Mom & Tom.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Well-Versed Mom & Tom.

The Absence of Presents

©2013 CStankiewicz all rights reserved

My sister and I grew up in an old, small house with few rooms and even fewer closets. So when it came to hiding Christmas presents, my mom had limited options. Once we were old enough to start snooping around for “Santa’s” stash, it didn’t take long for us to discover that coveted cache of presents and wrapping paper.

I’m lucky enough to be blessed with a larger domain, however, so I have seemingly endless hiding places for the loot I’ll lavish upon my daughters.

Which may or may not be a good thing…


The Absence of Presents

Throughout the year, I often find
those gifts I cannot leave behind:
a bargain that’s too good to miss,
a treasure bound to bring ‘em bliss.

It might be months till Christmas day,
but it’s too tough to keep at bay
my urge to purchase in advance,
for this may be my only chance.

And so I buy them, my intention
just to hide them, not to mention
their existence till that morn
when gifts our lovely tree adorn.

To help me in this fervid feat
of keeping secret every treat,
I must (of course) then find a spot
where prying eyes will spy them not.

And so in depths of darkest closet,
bags and boxes I deposit —
or far behind a cabinet door
or buried down inside a drawer.

I also stow them under beds,
or in the attic or the shed.
Throughout the spring and into May,
throughout the fall, I stash away.

I know my gifts won’t be revealed
with them so very well concealed.
So well, in fact, that — come December —
where they’re all hid…I can’t remember.


©2012 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

©2012 CStankiewicz all rights reserved